15 Cities Where You Can Make at Least $1,000/Month With Your Spare Room
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Whether you live in a studio apartment in New York City or a three-bedroom family home in Wichita, Kansas, you could earn money from the space you’re sitting in right now.
Airbnb connects hosts and travelers who need a place to stay. It lets you list your spare room, garage apartment, a tent in your yard, your whole house or any other spot someone can lay their weary head.
A lot of variables affect how much you might earn, so I wanted to find out what hosts in a bunch of cities could expect.
This calculator offers a good starting point. It lets you quickly search your city and enter a few options to see what you might make each month letting guests crash at your place.
How Much Can You Earn With Airbnb Hosting?
I ran the numbers for 15 cities to see how much you might earn as an Airbnb host with two options: renting out a private room (assuming you have a spare room, so you could share your place with guests) and renting out your entire place (so you’re not there when guests are).
In either scenario, I assumed you have two guests who can share a room.
Airbnb’s calculator offers an estimate based on 50% occupancy — so, renting your space out at least half the month — and the prices of similar listings.
Some cities on the list are obvious: Of course New York and San Francisco draw good rates. But some might surprise you: Who knew you could make bank in Akron, Ohio?
Here are 15 cities where you could earn $1,000 or more each month as an Airbnb host:
1. New York
Private room: $2,959
Entire place: $4,837
Filling your spare room half the time could earn you enough to buy 1,203 slices of New York pizza a month. Or it’d cover about half your rent — with no roommate drama.
2. San Francisco
Private room: $2,438
Entire place: $3,328
With your extra income, you could ride a cable car 348 times through the city each month (or take Muni 975 times and avoid tourists).
Private room: $2,369
Entire place: $3,387
That’s enough for 499 monthly Venti Caramel Macchiatos at Starbucks.
4. Orlando, Florida
Private room: $1,962
Entire place: $2,914
Earn enough in a month to buy 131 pairs of Mickey Mouse ears!
Private room: $1,920
Entire place: $2,816
That’s enough to cover 480 pints of domestic beer or 320 imports (but when in Milwaukee, go domestic).
Private room: $1,919
Entire place: $3,030
With your extra cash, you could buy 621 Chicago-style hot dogs at Portillo’s. (Or do they just call them hot dogs there?)
7. Salt Lake City
Private room: $1,904
Entire place: $2,949
You could buy 168 bottles of fry sauce with that extra dough!
Private room: $1,810
Entire place: $2,636
With your side hustle, you could afford 262 grams of recreational marijuana (not saying should, just saying could).
Private room: $1,793
Entire place: $2,655
In one month, you could bank enough for 17 wool felt cowboy hats!
10. Charlotte, North Carolina
Private room: $1,662
Entire place: $2,625
That’s enough to buy you 162 brisket sandwiches at Midwood Smokehouse — per month.
11. Jacksonville, Florida
Private room: $1,634
Entire place: $2,040
You could hang in the sun in style with 12 new pairs of Ray-Bans each month with your extra income.
12. Scranton, Pennsylvania
Private room: $1,551
Entire place: $2,223
That extra money could help you stock up on 520 “Froggy 101” stickers to show your Scranton (or “The Office”) pride.
13. Akron, Ohio
Private room: $1,304
Entire place: $1,819
You could buy 87 seats for the next Zips football game with that extra cash!
14. Cheyenne, Wyoming
Private room: $1,067
Entire place: $1,474
Your spare room could afford you five new pairs of leather cowboy boots each month.
15. Albuquerque, New Mexico
Private room: $1,164
Entire place: $1,725
Renting one private room half of the time could cover your entire rent for a three-bedroom apartment in downtown Albuquerque. Not bad for a side hustle!
Is Airbnb Worth It?
It’s simple to look at numbers and get excited — who doesn’t want a little extra fry-sauce money? But hosting with Airbnb means welcoming strangers into your home, which begs a few questions…
Will You Be Safe?
For some reason, a lot of people fear unknowingly hosting a serial killer. I think we’re all watching too many scary movies.
In case you’re legitimately worried, though, Airbnb works hard to build trust between hosts and guests. Here are a few ways:
- Profile verifications in the app help ensure users are telling the truth about who they are.
- You can require guests provide Airbnb with an ID to further verify their identity.
- Hosts and guests review each other and flag suspicious profiles, so you’ll know whether a prospective guest has made trouble in the past.
Will Your Stuff Be Safe?
To protect against theft or damage of your stuff, you should already have renter’s insurance. On top of that, Airbnb’s Host Guarantee offers up to $1,000,000 for damages to your property.
This doesn’t cover cash, collectibles, rare artwork, jewelry or pets; so stow your irreplaceables, and look into your own insurance before hosting.
Is Hosting Allowed Where You Live?
Rules and regulations vary by city, so make sure you understand the laws where you live. Airbnb says it’s working with local governments to clarify these laws and make it easier for you to host.
In the meantime, look into your city’s zoning and tax laws to make sure you’re good to go. If you rent, check your lease and talk to your landlord to get a thumb’s up.
Are You Responsible for Guest’s Wellbeing?
Be a smart host, and make sure your space is clean and safe for guests.
In case of an accident, Airbnb provides Host Protection Insurance against up to $1,000,000 in bodily injury or property damage. It also protects renters in case a guest damages something in your building.
How Much Could You Earn With Airbnb in Your City?
Are you ready to get started with this new side gig? Find out how much you could earn in your city.
Dana Sitar ([email protected]) is a senior writer/newsletter editor at The Penny Hoarder. Say hi and tell her a good joke on Twitter @danasitar.